El Portal Market
Information for the El Portal CommunityThursday, May 01, 2008
As a result of the April 21 fire that destroyed the El Portal Market, Yosemite National Park will be moving the store operation to the El Portal Motor Inn (currently known as the Special Park Uses Office) for the duration of the concessionaire’s six year contract. The Park plans to have the building ready to open as a store in nine months time. Yosemite National Park Superintendent Michael Tollefson announced today that the park is starting the process to put a temporary office structure at the site of former El Portal Market, pending the outcome of environmental compliance analysis and after the site is cleared of any hazardous materials. The temporary office structure is necessary because a number of park staff are being displaced by the move of the store function into the Special Park Uses Office building. The former El Portal Market site, at the corner of 140 and El Portal Road, is a good choice for a temporary office structure because it already has water lines, electric service, a lift station already in place, sufficient parking, is not in a residential area, and has high visibility to the public. Park staff who currently work in the Special Park Uses Office will be moved into various office locations throughout the park at the end of next week. There is no date yet estimated for the completion of the temporary office building in El Portal.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Report pages 1-10 (1.5MB PDF)
Thursday, April 24, 2008
This past Monday the El Portal Market was completely destroyed by fire. Yosemite National Park Superintendent Michael Tollefson announced today the decision to move the store operation to the El Portal Motor Inn (currently known as the Special Park Uses Office) for the duration of the concessionaire’s six year contract. The Park plans to have the building ready to open as a store in nine months time.
No decision has been made yet regarding the option of opening up the back road ("Rail Road) from the Park fire house to the Motor Inn and will be discussed at upcoming El Portal Town Planning Advisory Committee meetings.
The Park staff who currently work in the Special Park Uses Office will be moved into temporary office space in the near future.
The results of the Mariposa County Fire Investigation Report are anticipated to be released sometime on Friday. Hazardous waste material evaluation of the burn site will begin on May 5 and is expected to take at least a week for results. Clean up of the burn site will commence after the hazardous waste evaluation is completed.
Yosemite News Release
April 21, 2008
For Immediate Release
El Portal Market Burns in Yosemite National Park
The El Portal Market, one of El Portal’s oldest buildings burned to the ground today in a blaze which was reported by El Portal residents at approximately 5am. Firefighters from the National Park Service, DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc., and Mariposa County responded to the fire.
The market has been closed for renovations since late March.
The El Portal Market, built around 1934, originally served park visitors travelling to Yosemite by railroad. The market was operated between 1966 and March, 2008 under the general partnership of Vaughn, Vaughn, and Carter. The current operator was scheduled to open the market in late spring, 2008, when renovations were complete. The market has served El Portal residents and park visitors since the mid-1930’s as both a general merchandise store and a community meeting place.
Mike Tollefson, Yosemite Park Superintendent, said this morning: "It is impossible to imagine the loss that this is for the community of El Portal and the park as a whole."
Yosemite park managers are meeting immediately this morning to consider options for replacing the building.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. (-NPS-)
Did You Know?
In Yosemite Valley, dropping over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, the Merced River creates what is known as the “Giant Staircase.” Such exemplary stair-step river morphology is characterized by a large variability in river movement and flow, from quiet pools to the dramatic drops of the waterfalls themselves.